The Assembly’s elections committee has heard remarks from 2020 election conspiracy theorists, but the Republicans in charge had not invited actual experts until now.
Two officials with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), the state agency that oversees and administers elections, on Wednesday debunked a spate of conspiracy theories about the 2020 election in testimony delivered to a state Assembly committee.
“A lot of concerns about the November 2020 presidential election are based on assumptions that lack full understanding of election policies, laws, and technologies,” said WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe, adding, “Nearly all of these concerns can easily be explained and understood once placed in the context of how our elections system works.”
Wolfe joined WEC Technology Director Robert Kehoe in speaking for the first time to the Republican-led Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, which has previously invited testimony from conspiracy theorists who spread unfounded claims of election fraud but had not before now invited actual election officials.
Last week, the committee heard from conspiracy theorist Peter Bernegger, who claimed he used a “supercomputer” to discover there were 1.5 million illegally registered voters in Wisconsin and that tens of thousands of people illegally voted in the 2020 election.
“Making unverified, fantastical claims without consulting real election officials has the effect of diverting lawmakers and the public from tracking real issues in need of improvement,” Kehoe said. “That could end up causing real harm to Wisconsin elections.”
Numerous lawsuits, a recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, and a nonpartisan and conservative audit have found no evidence of widespread fraud and upheld President Joe Biden’s roughly 20,000-vote victory in Wisconsin.
Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), a supporter of election conspiracy theories, chairs the elections committee. She and Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport), a GOP candidate for governor and the Legislature’s most vocal election denier, on Tuesday held a rally at the Capitol to call for the illegal act of decertifying Biden’s in Wisconsin.
“You’re not crazy,” Brandtjen told the crowd.
Brandtjen and Ramthun are just two of many Republicans who have followed Donald Trump’s lead and sought to undermine the 2020 election and sow doubt about the electoral system.